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Undergraduate Courses 2017

Italian and Religious Studies - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

An Italian and Religious Studies joint honours degree offers you the opportunity to learn a modern foreign language to a near-native level, and study all aspects of religion. Being able to speak the language of the most powerful European economy combined with having a traditional humanities degree lays the perfect foundation for an international career.

Italian was one of the first language departments created at Kent and we are proud to offer a course of study which gives you the opportunity to learn Italian to a high standard and gain real insight into Italian culture, literature and society. The course covers topics such as the history of Italian literature, 19th and 20th-century Italian fiction, Fascism, neorealist and post-neorealist cinema, and women writers. You can study Italian at Kent whether you have an A level or GCSE in Italian, or as a beginner.

Between Stages 2 and 3, you spend a year studying or working abroad in Italy, which will greatly improve your language skills as well as allowing you to immerse yourself in and develop your understanding of Italian culture.

Religious Studies at Kent allows you to study religion and modern culture in dynamic and original ways. You study in a vibrant department, which offers a range of modules, from biblical to Asian traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity, as well as cutting-edge methodology modules taught by scholars who are at the top of their field. These modules cover psychological, sociological, anthropological and philosophical methods.

The two subjects in combination with each other give you a solid foundation in understanding other cultures, languages and beliefs, enabling you to understand the complexities of the world today. 

Independent rankings

Italian at Kent was ranked 10th for teaching quality in The Times Good University Guide 2016 and 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2017.

Religious Studies and Theology at Kent was ranked 14th in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and 19th in The Complete University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 89% of our Religious Studies students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

IT312 - An Introduction to Italian Cinema: Neorealism and Its Legacy (15 credits)

In the decade between 1943-1952, Italian cinema produced a series of films that departed dramatically from the traditions of mainstream cinema (both that of Hollywood and that produced under Fascism). These 'Neorealist' films were enormously influential around the world and had a lasting impact on film technique and style. This course will introduce students to the study of Italian cinema through an exploration of Neorealism – arguably the most significant 'movement' in Italian film history – and the work of several of the major Italian filmmakers involved in the movement (e.g. Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti).



In particular the course will consider:

- How to analyse a film, in terms of narrative, technique and style..

- The ways in which Neorealism constituted an alternative mode of practice to that of mainstream cinema (e.g. Hollywood) and the ways in which it rejected the tenets of the cinema of the Fascist era.

- The notion of realism in the cinema, in particular through the work of theorists such as André Bazin and Cesare Zavattini, and the ways in which this concept can be applied to the films studied.

- The social and political upheavals of wartime and post-war Italy and how these were reflected and negotiated in film.

- How and why Neorealism ended in the early 1950s and the ways in which its legacy is reflected in later Italian films.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT315 - An Introduction to Italian Modernity (15 credits)

This module aims to introduce students to Italian literature and culture from the Unification to the late 20th century. It will explore the principal historical events of this period (e.g. the Risorgimento, Fascism, the Second World War and the birth of the new Republic, the 'economic miracle', the 'years of lead' and the Berlusconi era) and examine how these periods have been interpreted by a number of key literary authors, artists and intellectuals such as Di Lampedusa, Vittorini and Pasolini. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between Italian literature and social and political history.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT301 - Learning Italian - Beginners (30 credits)

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH331 - Introduction to Hinduism & Buddhism (15 credits)

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, through a consideration of their key concepts, ideas, texts and practices (such as bhakti, moksha, yoga, dharma). The first half of the module will examine some of the most interesting features of the Vedic and post-Vedic tradition: the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the polytheism of the Mahabharata. The second half will examine the contrasting philosophical positions of the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions using materials from the Pali canon and several Sanskrit Sutras. Particular attention will be given to the variety of interpretations of the Buddhist 'No-self' doctrine and concept of enlightenment as well as the meaning and function of the Buddha’s career.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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TH340 - Gods of the Desert: Judaism and Islam (15 credits)

This course investigates the beliefs and practices of Jews and Muslims in the world today. Topics in Judaism include the life and work of the Patriarchs, the concept of the 'chosen people', the Promised Land, the Torah, synagogue, Jewish festivals and the Jewish home. In the case of Islam, topics include the life and work of Muhammad, the Five Pillars, the Qur'an and Hadith, Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, Sufism, the Shariah and the Islamic contribution to the arts and sciences.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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TH341 - What is Religion? (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to discussions about the definition of religion and to some of the disciplines in which religion is studied, with special reference to the differences between Theology and Religious Studies. Particular consideration will be given in the initial weeks to the phenomenological approach and to the efficacy of Ninian Smart’s dimensions of religion. In the following weeks, the module will be focused on the comparative study of religion (with reference to Eliade), the sociology of religion (with reference to Durkheim, Weber and Marx) and the psychology of religion (with reference to Otto, James, Freud and Jung). The module will also host a study skills session to be run in conjunction with the Student Learning Advisory Service, the aim of which is to equip students with key study skills in the areas of writing essays, referencing and plagiarism-prevention.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH345 - From: Eden To The End of The World: An Introduction to The Bible (15 credits)

The Bible is not a single book, but ta biblia, the library. At the most modest estimate, the literatures of the Bible span a period of over eight hundred years. If we think of the metaphor of a library, the books in the Bible would not just be shelved in the Religion/Theology section, but also, say, Philosophy, Politics and Cultural History/Myth. The influence of these books on ‘Western’ culture has been immense. This is a course for those seeking basic biblical ‘literacy’, which is profoundly useful for studies in other disciplines (e.g. History, or Literature), as well as for students in Religious Studies. It is a course for those who think they already know the Bible (this course will help you read the Bible in different ways, with new questions) and those who have never read a Bible at all. The course gives a basic overview of the story and contexts of the books of the Bible (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and New Testament) from Genesis to the Apocalypse of John, or from Eden to the End of the World.



This course provides a basic introduction to different sections of the biblical ‘library’, combining a general overview with in-depth study of selected passages and books.



NB: As with all Biblical Studies courses at the University of Kent, ‘Bible’ is defined in the broadest sense: the Christian and Jewish canons (73 or 66 books, though we won’t be studying all of them!) apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, and also all the ancient and modern intertexts, poems, films and novels, that inform and draw on biblical traditions.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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TH346 - Introduction to Asian Traditions (30 credits)

This module provides an historical introduction to the philosophical, religious and cultural traditions of South and East Asia. It will provide a foundation for understanding the historical development, key concepts and important practices of the major worldviews of India, China and Japan with specific reference to the Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Daoist and Shinto traditions.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH347 - Introduction to Christianity (15 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the study of Christianity, through a consideration of key ideas, texts, symbols, stories, rituals, conflicts and continuities, across contemporary and historical contexts. The course will offer a broad overview of two thousand years of Christian history, and seek to address the question of how the cult surrounding an obscure spiritual teacher from first century Nazareth became the world's largest religion, currently estimated at over two billion adherents. It will address the early church, eastern and western traditions, the medieval church, the Reformation and the relations between Christianity and modernity, as well as focusing on contemporary forms of Christianity, and the rapid growth since the 1970s of churches in the global South. By examining key concepts and practices across a range of historical and contemporary settings, the course will explore how the meaning and significance of these have often been subject to violent contestation, both amongst Christians and in their encounters with other religions. It will therefore encourage students to appreciate how the ideas and convictions that are often used to defend or attack Christianity have themselves been shaped by this history.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

TH570 - I:Religion and Film (30 credits)

The aim of this module is to enable students to understand and evaluate the range of models by which film and religion may be employed as conversation partners and to provide them with the tools necessary for exploring critical links between theology/religious studies and the medium of film. The course will begin with an examination of the methodological, conceptual and disciplinary issues that arise before exploring in critical depth the historical relationship between religion and film, with specific reference to the reception (ranging from prohibition to utilisation) of film by different religious groups. There will be a focus on particular categories of film and categories and models of religious and theological understanding, allowing students taking this module to develop the critical skills helpful for film interpretation and for exploring possible religious and theological approaches to film criticism.

Film clips will be used within lectures and will be discussed and unpacked in the seminars.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH601 - Hindu Religious Thought (30 credits)

The main emphasis of the course is on identifying the historical development, concepts and practices of key features of Hindu culture. Exploring the distinctive features of Hindu culture and its beliefs and practices, it evaluates the motivating factors and impact that shaped those traditions. Combining historical, textual, doctrinal and anthropological approaches, students are given a multifaceted view of the development of Hindu thought. The course trains students to read Hindu texts in an informed and critical way. Among the themes discussed are: Vedic culture and the transition from ritual forms of religion to philosophical questions and ascetic traditions; Vedantic doctrines of the self, the divine and liberation; socio-religious ideals and ethics associated with dharma; devotional arts and movements associated with particular deities, sampradayas or tantric traditions; different conceptions of the divine; yogic and other practices. These themes will be approached through the study of historical developments and Hindu texts in translation, but attention will also be given to some Sanskrit terminology.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH608 - Sociology of Religion (30 credits)

The aim of this module is to enable students to think sociologically about religious life. Whilst addressing key debates within the sociology of religion (e.g. secularization, subjectivization), it seeks to introduce students to core concepts and methods in sociology that will enable them to understand religious life in terms of broader social structures and processes. Examples of issues covered in the module include: the nature of sociology as a discipline, macro and micro levels of analysis, the agency/structure debate and the nature of social structure, individualization, and sociological perspectives on gender, class, emotion, materiality and belief. The significance of intersectionality between different social structures will also be discussed, and useful sources of secondary data (e.g. BRIN) will be explored. The central assessment task for the module – a case study presenting the sociological analysis of the nature and place of religion in a particular individual's life – brings these theoretical and methodological approaches together into a micro-level analysis of lived religion in a way that is informed by broader social and cultural structures. Examples of good writing in this style of sociological research are presented and explored through the module.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH578 - Psychology and Religion (30 credits)

The purpose of this module is to survey some of the most significant 20th century trends in the dialogue between psychology and religion through the writings of depth-psychologists, philosophers, theologians, anthropologists and phenomenologists of religion. The module begins by exploring the varieties of religious experience, especially through the work of William James and Rudolf Otto, after which it examines the contributions of psychoanalysis and analytical psychology to the study of religion, particularly in the work of Freud, Jung and Hillman. This material provides the basis for subsequent discussion of the interdisciplinary literature comparing religious altered states of consciousness (mystical, visionary and paranormal experiences) with other altered states of consciousness (madness, drug induced experiences etc.). The module concludes by discussing the principle issues addressed by transpersonal psychology (particularly in the work of Wilber and Grof): the relationship between western psychotherapies and eastern religious disciplines of spiritual emancipation; competing models of spiritual transformation.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH594 - Christianity and Ethics (30 credits)

Please note: all Module Handbook information is subject to change pending faculty approval.



• Introduction: studying Christian Ethics

• Christian Ethics: biblical roots

• Christian Ethics: philosophical roots

• Key Christian Thinkers: Augustine

• Key Christian Thinkers: Aquinas and Natural Law

• Key Christian Thinkers: Luther

• Christian Ethics in the 20th century

• Committed Perspectives: Liberation Ethics

• Committed Perspectives: Feminist Ethics

• Tradition Revisited: narrative, pluralism and postmodernity

• Christian Ethics in the Multi-cultural Public Square

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH618 - Continental Philosophy of Religion (30 credits)

This module will be divided into two parts. First, it will familiarise students with how Continental philosophy has developed in response to methodological and historical questions. Second, it will then show how Continental philosophy applies to the philosophy of religion by discussing traditional religious problems—e.g., the existence of God, the problem of theodicy, the conception of the good life—and seeing how seminal Continental thinkers engage with these issues in diverse ways. The first part of the module will discuss critical, historical-based methodologies in: philosophical hermeneutics (Gadamer and Ricoeur), phenomenology (Dupré and Marion) and geneaology (Foucault). The second part of the module will utilise contemporary scholarship consisting in contemporary philosophers applying the aforementioned methodological approaches to religious problems.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH622 - Cracking Biblical Codes: Prophecy, Apocalyptic and Wisdom (30 credits)

This module will explore the theme of ‘Biblical Codes’ from two angles:

1) How has the Bible been read as code?

2) How can we read/ ‘decode’ biblical mysteries (prophecy, apocalyptic, or ‘wisdom’)



Under heading 1) we will be exploring how different writers and groups (some of them inside the Bible, some of them outside it) have read the Bible as temporal or political code. For example, the biblical book of Daniel attempts to decode the book of Jeremiah, which had already become deeply mysterious to ancient readers. Similarly, the New Testament ‘deciphers’ biblical prophecy and motifs by applying them to Jesus or the Roman Empire. At the other end of the time spectrum, we find bestsellers like Michael Drosnin’s The Bible Code (1997), Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye’s attempts to decrypt biblical visions of the end of time by way of contemporary global politics, or recent readings of the book of Ezekiel as prophecies about UFO’s. Techniques of decryption are also built into central developments within Jewish and Christian traditions. In fact, what is often called the history of ‘hermeneutics’ could also be described as the history of ‘How not to read literally’. We will be looking at a range of examples of such developments by focusing on readers like Philo of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, or Jewish Kabbalah.



Under heading 2, we will undertake some in-depth readings of prophecy, apocalyptic, or wisdom texts—the ones that readers of the Bible find most difficult to ‘decode’. Texts to be studied will be taken from the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Pseudepigrapha. We will be exploring the contexts that produced these literatures and thinking about how to read (decipher?) them across the abyss of time.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH624 - Indian Philosophy of Religion (30 credits)

This module will explore classic philosophical debates and texts (in translation) of the main currents of classical Indian philosophical thought, focusing on Hindu and Buddhist thought but with some reference to traditions such as Jainism. The module explores classic Indian approaches to key philosophical themes such as the nature of truth, the relationship of language and reality, cosmology and theories of causality, the nature of perception, karma and rebirth, debates about the self, the relationship of consciousness and the body, the nature of liberation and valid sources of knowledge.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH634 - Mahåyåna Buddhism: The Foundations (30 credits)

This course explores the central teachings, practices and sacred texts of Mahåyåna Buddhism and will focus upon the first 500 years of its history in India. It will examine the rise and development of Mahåyåna Buddhism in India through analysis of its key sacred literature and philosophical schools as well as its subsequent spread to East and North Asia.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH636 - Religion and Capitalism (30 credits)

The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the interrelations between religion, modernity, capitalism and ideology. We will examine classic debates in social theory in relation to Western culture and capitalism, and bring them up to date in relation to contemporary sociological theory and political theology, applying these to examples from Europe, North and Latin America, and Africa. The course will primarily relate to the history of and contemporary Christianity and the birth of capitalism, although students will also have the opportunity to explore these questions in relation to other religions through their own independent research. It will critically explore both left- and right-wing theological models, and seek to deepen understanding of the relationship between religious and spiritual movements and capitalist economics.



The course will prominent debates in the relations between religion, capitalism and economics including: Karl Marx and the Judeo-Christian Tradition; Max Weber and the Protestant Work Ethic; the Social Gospel and Christian Socialism; Colonialism, Christianity and Capitalist Modernities; Neoliberalism and Christianity; Liberation Theologies; and Capitalist Spiritualities.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH640 - Themes in the Study of Asia (30 credits)

This module explores the cultural specificity and diversity of Asian cultures, traditions, social and political systems and literature from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The topic of Asia will be approached on a thematic basis but with particular emphasis on an understanding of the historical and interpretive challenges to inter-cultural understanding between Asia and Europe/ the West.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT508 - Learning Italian 2 (Intermediate) (30 credits)

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Italian course such as IT301, and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 way stage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).



IT508 is designed to bring students from A2 level to B1 threshold, turning students into independent users of Italian, in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Italy as a foreign country. IT508 is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT563 - Learning Italian 4 (Advanced) (30 credits)

IT563 is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in IT308, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Italian through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Italian. IT563 is an intensive course which requires serious commitment.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT576 - The Make-Up: Representations of Gender in Contemporary Italy (15 credits)

This module introduces students to key concepts in the analysis of social, cultural and artistic representation of gender within the context of contemporary Italy (from Fascism to the present). It does so by considering a selection of relevant works from a variety of media, such as, for instance, neorealist and fantastic literature of the post-war years; feminist writings of the 1970s (e.g. Dacia Maraini's novel Donna in Guerra, 1975); contemporary cinema (e.g. Ferzan Ozpetek’s Le fate ignoranti, 2001; Donatella Maiorca’s Viola di mare, 2009). The module takes as its focus the gendered basis of social and political control as evident in constructions of subjectivity and sexuality exercised – for instance – through the media, while also analysing works that present themselves as a reaction to such control.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT542 - Italian Extended Essay (15 credits)

This will depend on the subject matter and the advice of the supervisor. The subject will be broadly within the field of Italian Studies.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT552 - Italian Short Story (15 credits)

This module focuses on a number of Italian contemporary short stories. More specifically, this module discusses the literary treatment of love, and the love story, in the short stories of some of the most important Italian writers of the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century. Works by worldwide renowned authors such as Italo Calvino, Natalia Ginzburg, Cesare Pavese, and Leonardo Sciascia, accomplished "postmodernist" writers belonging to a younger generation such as Antonio Tabucchi and Pier Vittorio Tondelli, as well as less celebrated authors such as Gianni Celati and Fabrizia Ramondino, will be taken into consideration. While not underestimating the profound economic, social and political changes that Italy underwent during the last sixty years, particular emphasis will be given to the similar way in which all these writers seem to fictionally conceive of the love relationship as a missed encounter. In spite of the manifold forms of love being described in these texts (between husband and wife; wife and lover; young boy and ideal father; sister and brother; mother and daughter; two young men, etc.), all the short stories chronologically analysed in this module seem to rely on Calvino's provoking suggestion according to which the missed encounter is the "fundamental element" of love relationships.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT556 - Catching the Tide: Cultural Renewal in 20th Century Italy (15 credits)

Despite her incomparable heritage, Italy experienced for many centuries a sense of cultural provincialism, with the world's intellectual curiosity switching to Paris, London, New York, and other centres of innovation. This module focuses on the clear connections between rapid socio-economic and socio-political change and the thrust for cultural modernity that made 20th century Italy once more a key contributor to the literary and visual arts in Europe and beyond. A wide variety of Italian 'texts' of the first half of the 20th century will be taken into consideration, including novels, plays, short stories and films.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability. 

All European Language students (French, German, Hispanic Studies and Italian) are required to spend a Year Abroad between Stages 2 and 3 in a country where the European language is spoken. You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stage 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. If the requirement is not met, you may have to postpone your Year Abroad.

The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. You spend the year working as an English language assistant or in approved employment, or studying at one of our partner universities. For a full list of our partner universities, please visit Go Abroad.

Possible modules may include:

LA514 - Year Abroad Module (120 credits)

Students either study at a relevant foreign university or work (either as teaching assistants or in some other approved capacity).

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

IT506 - Learning Italian 5 (30 credits)

The module develops advanced proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending Italian. It concentrates on translation into Italian and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken Italian. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of advanced texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines discursive writing on advanced topics with the development of proper oral competence through discussion. Conversation classes with a native speaker develop presentational ability, and enable students to speak fluently and idiomatically at the advanced level.



Students engage in the following activities throughout the year:



• translation from Italian into English, using a range of registers and topics

• translation from English into Italian, using journalistic and literary texts

• study grammatical and lexical subtleties of the Italian language

• group discussion on specific topics

• preparation for oral examination in small groups

• written composition in Italian.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT503 - Italian Dissertation (30 credits)

This module may only be taken provided that other Italian non-language units are being followed throughout the final year. The subject of the Essay will be agreed between the student and a supervisor appointed by the Section; it will normally arise from work done either in other Stage 2 and 3 modules or during the year abroad, but other topics are not necessarily excluded. It will be based on the student's own research under the guidance of a supervisor.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT577 - Italian Regional Cinema (15 credits)

This course complicates the notion that there is a unifying concept of an Italian national cinema.

Specifically, it will examine particular instances of filmic production operating outside of the national and cinematic capital of Rome, examining both the factors determining and constraining the emergence of such filmmaking practices, and the ways in which the films they produce may differ from those produced in the capital and associated with an Italian national cinema.

To achieve this, the module will focus on a number of case studies, such as:

• The cinema of Naples, analysed in relation to the question of Neapolitan identity and cultural difference.

• The cinema of Turin, as a product of deliberate regional funding and cultural heritage strategies.

• The cinema of Sicily, seen in relation to the problematising of cultural stereotypes.

• How certain 'national' film productions have dealt with the problematic notion of Italian national/regional identity.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SCL502 - Languages in the Classroom (30 credits)

The student will spend one half-day per week for ten weeks in a school. Students will work in a school, with a nominated teacher, for ten half days during the Spring Term and will have the opportunity to promote their subject in a variety of ways. The Course Convenor will place students in appropriate schools, either primary or secondary. They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. They will act to some extent in the role of a teaching assistant, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a language topic or talk about aspects of University life. They must keep a weekly journal reflecting on their activities at their designated school. The university sessions and weekly school work will complement each other. Therefore, attendance to university sessions is crucial as it will also give the students the opportunity to discuss aspects related to their weekly placement and receive guidance.



Some travel may be required by students taking this module. In this instance, it should be noted that the University is unable to cover the cost of any such journey.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH617 - Continental Philosophy of Religion (30 credits)

This module will be divided into two parts. First, it will familiarise students with how Continental philosophy has developed in response to methodological and historical questions. Second, it will then show how Continental philosophy applies to the philosophy of religion by discussing traditional religious problems—e.g., the existence of God, the problem of theodicy, the conception of the good life—and seeing how seminal Continental thinkers engage with these issues in diverse ways. The first part of the module will discuss critical, historical-based methodologies in: philosophical hermeneutics (Gadamer and Ricoeur), phenomenology (Dupré and Marion) and geneaology (Foucault). The second part of the module will utilise contemporary scholarship consisting in contemporary philosophers applying the aforementioned methodological approaches to religious problems.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH515 - Dissertation (30 credits)

Students are required to identify a viable research focus or question for their project which they will then pursue, with supervisory support, in order to submit their final dissertation. In the summer before joining the module, students will be given advice on how to identify their research focus, and by the start of the autumn term in which the module begins they will be expected to have produced a single side of A4 summarising key literature or other sources relevant to their specific project. Individual supervision will begin from the autumn term onwards. Initially this is likely to focus on clarifying the research focus or question, and situating it more deeply in existing literature and debates. Following this a clearer outline plan for conducting the research will be developed, with students then undertaking work necessary to meet each phase of this plan. If the project involves original fieldwork, the student will be expected to submit a research ethics application form for Faculty approval. As the project develops, chapter drafts will be submitted for review and discussion with the supervisor. Supervision contact time is likely to vary according to the project and student need, but will not exceed a total of 6 hours per student (including face to face supervision or time spent writing written feedback to electronically-submitted drafts). Supervisors will provide feedback on chapter drafts, which will need to be submitted to supervisors in good time before supervision meetings, but will not provide feedback on whole draft manuscripts once chapters are completed.



Supervisors will only provide supervisory support during term-time. Once the project has been agreed and a supervisor allocated in the autumn term, students will not normally be allowed to change their fundamental focus of their project (although their specific questions are likely to change as the project develops) or change their supervisor unless in highly exceptional circumstances.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH558 - Sociology of Religion (30 credits)

The aim of this module is to enable students to think sociologically about religious life. Whilst addressing key debates within the sociology of religion (e.g. secularization, subjectivization), it seeks to introduce students to core concepts and methods in sociology that will enable them to understand religious life in terms of broader social structures and processes. Examples of issues covered in the module include: the nature of sociology as a discipline, macro and micro levels of analysis, the agency/structure debate and the nature of social structure, individualization, and sociological perspectives on gender, class, emotion, materiality and belief. The significance of intersectionality between different social structures will also be discussed, and useful sources of secondary data (e.g. BRIN) will be explored. The central assessment task for the module – a case study presenting the sociological analysis of the nature and place of religion in a particular individual’s life – brings these theoretical and methodological approaches together into a micro-level analysis of lived religion in a way that is informed by broader social and cultural structures. Examples of good writing in this style of sociological research are presented and explored through the module.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH643 - Religious Studies and Philosophy in the Classroom (30 credits)

This module is aimed at those students who would like to follow a career as Primary or Secondary School teachers, but is also suitable to those who would like to combine an academic course with work experience. Placements in a school environment will enhance the students' employment opportunities as they will acquire a range of skills. It will also provide the students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of Religious Education and Philosophy in the primary or secondary school context. The university sessions and weekly school work will complement each other. Therefore, attendance to university sessions is crucial as it will also give the students the opportunity to discuss aspects related to their weekly placement and receive guidance. The student will spend one half-day per week for ten weeks in a school where each student will have a designated teacher-mentor who will guide their work in school. They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Initially, for these sessions the students will concentrate on specific aspects of the teachers’ tasks, and their approach to teaching a whole class. As they progress, their role will be as teaching assistants, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may teach brief or whole sessions with the whole class or with a small group of students where they explain a topic related to the school syllabus. They may also talk about aspects of University life. They must keep a weekly journal reflecting on their activities at their designated school.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH623 - Cracking Biblical Codes: Prophecy, Apocalyptic and Wisdom (30 credits)

This module will explore the theme of ‘Biblical Codes’ from two angles:

1) How has the Bible been read as code?

2) How can we read/ ‘decode’ biblical mysteries (prophecy, apocalyptic, or ‘wisdom’)



Under heading 1) we will be exploring how different writers and groups (some of them inside the Bible, some of them outside it) have read the Bible as temporal or political code. For example, the biblical book of Daniel attempts to decode the book of Jeremiah, which had already become deeply mysterious to ancient readers. Similarly, the New Testament ‘deciphers’ biblical prophecy and motifs by applying them to Jesus or the Roman Empire. At the other end of the time spectrum, we find bestsellers like Michael Drosnin’s The Bible Code (1997), Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye’s attempts to decrypt biblical visions of the end of time by way of contemporary global politics, or recent readings of the book of Ezekiel as prophecies about UFO’s. Techniques of decryption are also built into central developments within Jewish and Christian traditions. In fact, what is often called the history of ‘hermeneutics’ could also be described as the history of ‘How not to read literally’. We will be looking at a range of examples of such developments by focusing on readers like Philo of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, or Jewish Kabbalah.



Under heading 2, we will undertake some in-depth readings of prophecy, apocalyptic, or wisdom texts—the ones that readers of the Bible find most difficult to ‘decode’. Texts to be studied will be taken from the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Pseudepigrapha. We will be exploring the contexts that produced these literatures and thinking about how to read (decipher?) them across the abyss of time.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH621 - Anthropology of Religion (30 credits)

The aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the history and practice of the anthropology of religion through the past 150 years. Students will explore the ‘anthropology of religion’ to provide an historical and contemporary understanding of how anthropological studies of religion enrich knowledge of what it means to be religious. The course will examine and students will practise the anthropological method of rich participant observation and comparative analysis. Course content focuses on foundational and contemporary issues of religious definition, ritual, belief, embodiment, rationality and relationships in both Western and non-western contexts.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH600 - Psychology and Religion (30 credits)

The purpose of this module is to survey some of the most significant 20th century trends in the dialogue between psychology and religion through the writings of depth-psychologists, philosophers, theologians, anthropologists and phenomenologists of religion. The module begins by exploring the varieties of religious experience, especially through the work of William James and Rudolf Otto, after which it examines the contributions of psychoanalysis and analytical psychology to the study of religion, particularly in the work of Freud, Jung and Hillman. This material provides the basis for subsequent discussion of the interdisciplinary literature comparing religious altered states of consciousness (mystical, visionary and paranormal experiences) with other altered states of consciousness (madness, drug induced experiences etc.). The module concludes by discussing the principle issues addressed by transpersonal psychology (particularly in the work of Wilber and Grof): the relationship between western psychotherapies and eastern religious disciplines of spiritual emancipation; competing models of spiritual transformation.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

Italian

Teaching is by lectures and seminars. We have extensive technical facilities, including three satellite TV channels, video and DVDs and computer-assisted language learning.

Depending on the modules you select, assessment throughout all stages of the course varies from 100% coursework, to a combination of examination and coursework, in the ratio 50:50, 60:40, 70:30 or 80:20.

Religious Studies

You are usually taught in small groups, with most modules involving either two or three hours per week in class, plus individual consultations with teachers as well as sessions on computing and library skills.

Stage 1 modules are normally assessed by 100% coursework. At Stages 2 and 3, some modules are assessed by 100% coursework (such as essays), others by a combination of formal examination and coursework.

Programme aims

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:

Careers

Italian and Religious Studies provides you with the opportunity to develop the key skills that graduate employers expect. These include the ability to manage your time effectively and work to clear deadlines, to communicate clearly in writing and orally (including experience of doing public presentations), and to absorb ideas from a wide range of different sources, organise these into some meaningful pattern, and develop your own critical discussion of them. In addition, the ability to speak another European language is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with overseas study experience as more employable.

Modern Languages at Kent are doing a number of things to improve student employability, such as work-related modules and work placements. Both of these are a key part of the Languages in the Classroom module, designed for budding language teachers, which combines traditional learning methods with practical teaching experience.

Recent graduates have gone into areas such as teaching, translating and interpreting, publishing, travel, advertising, personnel, diplomacy, social work, journalism, media, marketing or further academic or vocational qualifications. Many of our graduates spend time working abroad.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB

GCSE

B in a modern European language other than English

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 at HL, including a modern European language other than English 4 at HL or 5 at SL and World Religions 5 at SL (where taken)

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages.

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Read our student profiles

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810

Fees for Year Abroad/Industry

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Key Information Sets


The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

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